Oracle and IBM have joined forces to share governance of the OpenJDK Java community. Oracle is chairman and the OpenJDK lead, IBM takes on the vice chairman role – and bylaws are in place to ensure the structure of the governance is clear.

One analyst described the move by Oracle as one of goodwill – now they just have to govern this code in an open-handed way. There is a lot invested in Java. “Java is also important for IBM, and so having them work together will be good for OpenJDK.” Said Michael Azoff, analyst for Ovum.

“It is also worth mentioning that although Oracle and IBM have a strong influence in steering Java, this does not make it proprietary; they are not aiming to do this.”

Joining with IBM may be good for the open-source community – however, the other side of the coin is Google. The legal battle with Oracle rumbles on and casts a shadow over Java and the rest of the community.

It is Google’s Android platform that is in question – Oracle claims that the Internet giant stole Oracle’s Java code – and renamed it Dalvik, which has resulted in a huge copyright infringement case.

Azoff believes that if Oracle wants Java to succeed, they may need to work with Google to bring about an end to the case.

“With Android now overtaking Apple’s iOS, and the mobile market continuing to dominate, you don’t want Oracle to have a negative impact on Android development,” Azoff said. “I think if you want open-source Java to succeed, Oracle needs to behave in a co-operative way with Google and we need to see agreement between the companies.”

Will Oracle be able to see the wood for the trees and act on behalf of the greater good?